The salaries of civil servants in states across the federation might be at risk as members of the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee, FAAC, on Thursday agreed to suspend meetings indefinitely.
Recall that on June 27, the FAAC meeting for that month ended without any resolution as members rejected the amount remitted by Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, for distribution.
Members of the committee, made up of Commissioners for Finance and Accountants General from the 36 states of the federation and Abuja, had accused the NNPC of not remitting enough revenue for sharing.
On Tuesday, the meeting, which was rescheduled after the initial June 27 meeting ended in a stalemate, was also put off after members failed to reconcile the records with the management of the NNPC.
At the end of the latest meeting which ended barely half a hour, Chairman of Commissioners Forum of FAAC, Mahmood Yunusa, told reporters the meeting was postponed indefinitely and would only be reconvened after “the process is strengthened”.
“The next meeting is a function of when we finish the process,” he said, adding that “What we are looking for is for the process to be strengthened. Once the process is strengthened, there is no need for this fight.”
The commissioner said the decision of the 36 state governments and other members of FAAC to reject the NNPC’s paltry remittances “is about the system and the process we are working on.
“Once the process is strengthened, the correct amount is supposed to go to federal revenue account.”
He said the practice of NNPC withholding revenues that should be remitted to the FAAC for distribution to the three tiers of government was being reviewed at the highest level of government.
“Mr President will sit down with all parties. He is highly interested in this matter. He is taking his time to ensure the right thing is done,” Yunusa said.
He assured that when the process of remitting revenue proceeds to the Federation Account has been strengthened, “even if the amount remitted is small, members cannot challenge the NNPC. So, we are also helping NNPC from undue pressure.”
On the fate of civil servants across the country, who have gone for weeks without June salary, the commissioner said all the state governments and other FAAC members opposed to NNPC appreciate the difficulties people are facing.
“But, we plead for understanding. This is a sacrifice all of us must make to get out of this problems of NNPC under-remittance. If the process is operated the way it is supposed to, nobody will complain again,” Yunusa said.
Meanwhile, the NNPC had stated that the N147 billion revenue remitted to FAAC for sharing to the three tiers of government in June was “in line with the terms of agreement it had with governors on the matter.”
Its spokesperson, Ndu Ughamadu, said the agreement NNPC had with the governors was for the corporation to make a monthly remittance of N112 billion only to FAAC.
He said the remittance was subject to sufficient funds from its sales of domestic crude oil allocation for the corresponding month after meeting certain operational obligations.
The spokesperson said the NNPC was able to surpass the terms of agreement with the governors on the monthly remittance for the month of June by about N35 billion.